You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner functions, but it needs refrigerant to keep your house fresh. This refrigerant is bound by environmental laws, as it contains chemicals.

Subject to when your air conditioner was added to your home, it may use R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll go over the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Columbia, plus how these phaseouts impact you.

What’s R-22 and Why Is It No Longer Being Made?

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it probably has Freon®. You can discover if your air conditioner contains it by calling us at 601-736-7362. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is found outside your house. This sticker will include details on what type of refrigerant your AC uses.

Freon, which is also known as R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider this chemical to be bad for the earth’s ozone layer and one that results in global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which controls refrigerants in the United States, barred its production and import in January 2020.

I Have a R-22 Air Conditioner. Should I Replace It?

It differs. If your air conditioning is operating properly, you can continue to keep it. With routine air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your air conditioning to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy notes that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on summertime cooling bills!

If you don’t install a new air conditioner, it may create an issue if you have to have air conditioning repair in the future, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be pricier, since only limited levels of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is available.

With the end of R-22, a lot of new air conditioners now rely on Puron®. Also called R-410A, this refrigerant was developed to keep the ozone layer in good shape. As it requires an incompatible pressure level, it doesn’t work with air conditioners that rely on R-22 for cooling.

However, Puron still has the possibility to create global warming. Because of that, it may also ultimately be phased out. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.

What Refrigerant Will Take Over R-410A?

In preparation of the phaseout, some manufacturers have started using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming likelihood—about one-third less than R-410A. And it also reduces energy consumption by approximately 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that may be passed on to you through your cooling bills.

Watts Electric & AC Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs

In short, the changes to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t impact you a whole lot until you need repairs. But as we talked about beforehand, refrigerant repairs can be more costly since there are the reduced amounts available.

Not to mention, your air conditioner usually stops working at the worst time, frequently on the muggiest day when we’re experiencing lots of other requests for AC repair.

If your air conditioner requires an outdated refrigerant or is more than 15 years old, we suggest installing a new, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a trouble-free summer and could even lower your electrical costs, especially if you select an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Watts Electric & AC has many financing programs to make your new air conditioner even more affordable. Contact us at 601-736-7362 to start today with a free estimate.